Certainly, stocks have had a remarkable run, and plenty of strategists worry that this is not the time to make a big move into stocks. Anand Rao, a partner at PwC, has worked with the Retirement Income Industry Association on a different approach to the whole retirement question. He believes it is important to develop an asset allocation built to meet different stages and conditions of life, and has been working to develop a concept called "building a floor." (PwC has a joint business relationship with the Retirement Income Industry Association.)
This approach to retirement investing calls for savers to allocate their money into a "floor" portfolio for non-discretionary needs like housing, a reserve portfolio for emergencies, a longevity portfolio for late in life, and an upside portfolio for everything else.
The reserve portfolio should be quite liquid, Rao said, and the floor portfolio should be in low-risk, income-generating assets such as Treasury bonds, annuities and the like. A longevity portfolio can build over time, and the upside portfolio can be invested for growth, with more allocated to equities.
Thinking through a plan like that would be challenging for many people on their own, but Rao said financial advisors can help. For investors without personal counselors, robo-advisors and their ilk could soon implement this kind of individualized approach, he said.
"With life expectancy increasing, you really can't afford to put the bulk of your discretionary money into just bonds or low-yielding vehicles," he said. In other words, if you go that route you may sleep a little easier at night now, but you may have even more worries to keep you up later.